Physicians fresh out of residency reported a boost in median job salaries from last year in emergency medicine, infectious disease and hematology/oncology, according to a survey by the Medical Group Management Association.
MGMA's Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey, conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Physician Recruiters, provides data on starting salary, signing bonuses and other benefits for physicians that occurred in fiscal year 2008. The biggest jump in starting salaries between 2007 and 2008 occurred in anesthesiology, noninvasive cardiology, emergency medicine and neurology. Except in surgery, starting salaries were highest for physicians entering hospital-department practices.
The survey found that experienced physicians were drawn to Florida and Texas, while those directly out of residency favored North Carolina and Illinois. Several states reported fewer physician placements than relocations, including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The largest increase in placements between 2006 and 2008 occurred in Virginia and Florida. Experienced physicians reported more relocations than physicians hired out of residency or fellowship.
"Practicing physicians appear to relocate to Florida and Texas for a variety of reasons," said MGMA member and NAPR Immediate Past President Martin Osinski of American Medical Consultants. "Those states don't have state income tax, which could add a significant amount to a physician's income - especially now, when physicians experience consistent financial burdens from managed care and reduced Medicare/Medicaid payments."
The survey found little disparity among signing bonuses for physicians a year out of residency or fellowship and all other physicians. Experienced physicians in primary care, cardiology and general surgery reported similar signing bonuses despite their years in practice.